Gators second at Super Six
Published: Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 12:25 a.m.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 7 Florida gymnasts (4-1) took second overall at the 5th Super Six Challenge on Friday in front of a Coleman Coliseum crowd of 9,817. The finish is the highest ever for the Gators in the prestigious regular-season competition.
Alabama won the meet with a 196.725, while the Gators turned in a 195.95 - the second-highest opening score ever for UF. Georgia was third at 195.55, followed by Oklahoma (195.275), Oregon State (193.85) and Denver (193.60). The Gators finish marked the first win over perennial power Georgia since the 1997 NCAA Southeast Regionals and first regular-season victory over the GymDogs since the 1990 campaign.
Florida gained momentum as the meet progressed, as UF moved from fourth to second during the meet's final two events.
"I'm pleased with how we did. We knew coming that 12 of our 24 routines were going to be brand-new routines. With that, there is always a bit of a question how it is going to turn out," UF coach Rhonda Faehn said. "Our first four performers of the meet were freshmen and I thought they did a phenomenal job. This is a daunting atmosphere for your first collegiate competition with almost 10,000 fans. We did have a few mistakes on floor that we had to count, but we showed much improvement on vault. We came off of bye to turn in two strong scores on bars and beam, which showed the depth and mental strength of this team."
The Gators came off a first-rotation bye to open the meet on floor exercise. The Gators were led by junior Erinn Dooley's 9.825 and freshman Breanne King's 9.80. Florida then moved to the vault, where the team turned in a 48.775. Junior Orley Szmuch turned in Florida's top vault mark of 9.85, while King started off the Gators with a 9.775.
The Gators scoring started to heat up in the fifth rotation, as UF turned in the evening's second-highest uneven bars team total of 49.075. Junior Kristen Stucky led UF with a mark of 9.875, which tied for fifth overall. Szmuch also posted a 9.85, which tied for seventh.
Florida outscored all team on the balance beam with its total of 49.45 - a total that was almost four-tenths higher than the next highest beam total of the evening. Five Gators finished among the evening's top six beam performers, as UF used no score lower than 9.85 toward its beam total. Stucky won the beam title with a meet-record beam mark of 9.95, bettering the previous Super Six record of 9.925 set by Alabama's Jeanna Rice at the 2003 meet. Dooley matched her collegiate-best of 9.925 to share second overall. Szmuch shared fourth at 9.875, while senior Erin Pendleton and King shared sixth at 9.85.
Two Gators finished among the evening's top three all-arounders. Szmuch took second at 39.275, while King was third at 39.225. Oklahoma's Brittney Koncak won the meet's all-around title with a 39.40.
The Gators next host to No. 10 Louisiana State for their home opener Jan. 16. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. at the O'Connell Center. Tickets are $4 for adults, while children 17 and under plus UF students with ID are admitted free.
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